Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Christians March in Pune, Maharashtra
Pune, February 18 Christian leaders from different denominations will take out a silent protest rally on Monday from YMCA, Quarter Gate, to condemn the attacks on Christian institutions in Orissa and Gujarat. They have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to ensure the safety of the community.
Disrupting church services and burning churches is deplorable, especially during the festive time, and the community fears a repeat of an infamous spate of violence in Gujarat's Dangs district in 1998.
Dangs witnessed violence for ten days in December 1998.
More than 14 churches, four convents, three houses of priests and eight hostels were fully or partially destroyed besides injuries sustained by Christians in Kandhamal district's Baliguda sub-division, Orissa, they said.
Shocked at the violent incidents during Christmas, Christians in Pune will meet on Monday to take out a silent protest rally, Father Sebastian Mony of St. Patrick's Church said. There are at least 1.5 lakh Christians residing in Pune.
The rally is being organised by the Catholic Association of Pune and the Indian Christian Movement to condemn the violent attack on churches in Orissa and Gujarat, Father Mony said. The rally will begin from YMCA at 3.30 pm and wind its way via Hotel Shantai, Narpatgir Chowk, Pudumjee park, Babajan Chowk and culminate at City Church. Bishop of Pune Valerian D'Souza and Bishop of the Church of North India Vijay Sathe will participate and hand over the memorandum of their demands to Suresh Kalmadi MP and district collector Prabhakar Deshmukh at the City Church.